“We’re enabling smallholder farmers in rural Africa to sell the fruits of their land to Wall Street and Silicon Valley – not via commodities markets, but via the carbon credit markets, and we’re using these carbon markets to finance the regeneration of depleted soils and ecosystems for subsistence farmers in developing regions,” said Darryl J. Nicke II, co-founder and CEO of Carbon Capture Shield, Inc.
Over a span of 30-years, their project will generate carbon-free energy, supply fresh water, and even Starlink satellite internet to the remote area – all while regenerating local aquifers, stabilizing local weather patterns, and paying farmers to learn and engage in beneficial land stewardship practices. All of this will be funded by the carbon offsets being sought by multinational corporations as part of the UN and IPCC goals for carbon neutrality by 2030.
“We’ve spent the last several years helping to pioneer agri-solar in Japan, and we’re ready to expand into Kenya, Malawi, Albania, Scotland, United Kingdom, United States, Colombia, Australia; and more are reaching out to us every day,” said Steffen Studeny, Co-Founder of Carbon Capture Shield and Executive Chairman of WQ, Inc. “The XPRIZE Carbon Removal Milestone Award would supercharge our work by directly funding it on a commercial scale in regions that desperately need assistance.”
The $100M XPRIZE Carbon Removal competition is aimed at tackling climate change by asking global innovators to develop solutions that can pull carbon dioxide directly from the atmosphere or oceans and lock it away permanently in an environmentally benign method.
“There is no more efficient means of removing atmospheric CO2 than using plants as natural carbon pumps, powered by sunlight energy, storing that carbon in the soil as carbohydrates – where it stimulates and supports a menagerie of biodiversity and restores soil fertility,” Darryl said.
“The goal of this CO2 Removal XPRIZE is to turn ideas into demonstration, and turn powerpoint solutions into hardware,” said Peter H. Diamandis, founder and executive chairman of XPRIZE. “By launching the largest prize competition in history, our hope is to focus the brainpower of engineers, scientists and entrepreneurs around the world to build solutions that actually work, at low-cost and at massive scale.”
“It really has done just that,” Darryl said. “Additionally, the tools provided to us by XPRIZE really helped hone the vision of our multidisciplinary team into a concise, investor-friendly package. The Milestone deadline also pushed us to focus on resolving several key bottlenecks and inefficiencies in our business models. There’s nothing better than a well-designed competition to bring out the best in humanity.”
Officially launched on Earth Day 2021 (the same day Carbon Capture Shield, Inc was founded), XPRIZE Carbon Removal is a four-year global competition. To win the $50M grand prize, the winning teams must demonstrate a working solution at a scale of at least 1,000 tonnes removed per year; model their costs at a scale of 1 million tonnes per year; and show a pathway to achieving a scale of gigatonnes per year in future. All demonstrations must be validated by a third party.